The Anger and Aggravation Continues. Birds Botch Good Gonzo Start To Drop Below .500.

Featured, Sports and Bets — May 31, 2014 at 8:28 am by

by Zach

Remember a few weeks ago when the O’s had a solid five game winning streak and were sitting pretty in the division standings? Seems like ancient history. Since then, the Birds have dropped 13 of their last 19 games, leaving them at an undesirable one game under .500, and in third place, sitting four and a half games behind the Blue Jays for the division lead. That’s right, the fuckin’ Blue Jays. If they weren’t in our division, I’d probably consider them the most forgettable team in the American League. That being said, the season is only a third of the way over with plenty of time remaining for the Birds to right the Orange and Back ship.

But there was just something about this latest loss on Friday night that really got to me. Maybe it was losing back-to-back games to the Astros, one of the American League’s doormats for the past several seasons. It also could have been the bullshit called third strike on Crush Davis to end the game. Or, maybe it was Adam Jones’s pathetic attempt to try to bunt his way onto base in the ninth, but instead he popped that bunt up for an out to the catcher. (I actually liked the move to try to get Jones on base via a bunt, but for God’s sake don’t put the ball in the air). But I think the real reason this latest loss got me all aggravated is that it feels like the Orioles can never have a game where they put it all together. We’re finally getting some quality starting pitching, and we can’t score a run to save our lives. Miguel Gonzalez was flat-out dealing Friday night, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and his teammates reward him by giving him one damn run of support. 

Bunting seems to only work in the movies….

 

For my money we have baseball’s best lineup top to bottom when healthy, and Nelson Cruz has been nothing short of an MVP candidate. Our starting pitching leaves a lot to be  desired, which was kind of expected, but nobody expected it to be this bad. Chris Tillman is sporting an earned run average just shy of five runs a game (4.97 to be exact) and the O’s biggest offseason expense, Ubaldo Jimenez, has an ERA of 4.65. Also, who would have thought Bud Norris would have been our most reliable pitcher? Certainly not me, but even that’s kind of sad considering he still has an ERA north of four. The only pitching bright spot has been the core of the bullpen, which been decent this year, with the always reliable Darren O’Day and the Orioles’ most improved player, Zach Britton, holding down the tail end of games. All in all, this team has the talent to be atop the division, so it shouldn’t be this much of a struggle. 

Nelson has been carrying the Birds on his back….

 The Astros are hot right now, but the O’s desperately need to get the next two games in Houston so they can split this God-awful series and get back to their winning ways before beginning a tough stretch over the first three weeks of June. With contests against the Rangers, the AL West Division-leading Athletics, followed by one series against each of our own division rivals (Sox, Jays, Rays, and Yanks in that order), the Birds have a real opportunity here to gain some much-needed ground in the division. But first this team has  to dig in and step their game up to turn this four game losing streak around.

 

*Editor’s Note: Personally, I thought Jones bunting was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.  He’s not a clean up or three-hole hitter because he’s good at bunting.  One swing ties the game.  Wasted at-bat.

3 Comments

  1. heres why i liked the idea of laying down a bunt: when your team is struggling to score runs, you have to manufacture runs. No one in the game expected him to lay down the bunt, and if he laid down a decent bunt, the defense would not have gotten to it in time to throw out a speedy Jones. this would have put one on base with only one out, applying pressure to the pitcher, and a deep double could score the game tying run, and we all know Davis is capable of getting that hit. Also, throw a few curve balls in the dirt and Jones goes down swinging in that at bat, and everyone knows it. In a big time situation, Jones swings at everything.

  2. Then lets bat Jones first and have him play small ball all year. He’s always in the 3 or 4 hole, he’s hit 71 home runs since the beginning of 2012. Having a 3,4, or 5 hitter bunting in any situation is counterintuitive to why they are batting 3,4, or 5…..bunting is a wasted at bat. Besides it failed miserably….probably because Jones never practices it. Why would he? He gets big dollars because he is always one swing away from a home run and an RBI

  3. jones has 6 home runs in 230 at bats this year. he hits a home run 2.6% of his at bats. odds are much better that if he gets on base were scoring a run with some powerful hitters coming up. every major leaguer should be able to lay down a bunt, especially ones with good speed. jones isnt just a power hitter, hes an all around player. do what you have to do to win, i dont care what it is

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